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Greece and Turkey: Offensive and Defensive Balance of Air Power in 2012

Posted by satyrikon στο Ιουνίου 8, 2012

February 19, 2012

By Ioannis Michaletos

The Greek and Turkish air forces are two of NATO’s strongest and most experienced. The chronic antagonism between the two neighboring states has meant that their pilots have received significant training as they have for decades often engaged in dogfights over the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Unlike planned exercises by NATO members, however, these dogfights have been deadly in the past and even risked a larger military showdown on several occasions.

The following detailed report will break down the inventory of the rival-but-allied air forces for 2012. This will also reveal that equilibrium of power has been established; the two countries have, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, reached an equal projection of air power, something that partly depends on the threat perceptions military planners have regarding different fronts. This dynamic is expected to remain as it is, at least for the mid-term, though pending acquisitions by Turkey could affect the balance in future. As with the case of India and Pakistan, an unwritten rule of preserving a balance of power has been set out by Western politicians and thus followed by industrial producers in Western countries.

All data presented below derives from official information gathered from the Greek and Turkish air fleet inventories, available in the archives of their respective military staffs and defense ministries.

History of Engagements and Balance of Power

Today, the Greek and Turkish air forces are considered to be among the best-trained and best-equipped in the world, along with (or after) those of the US, UK, Russia, Israel, France, China, India, Australia and South Korea.

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